CSA: What is it? What does it involve?

Top 12 Questions from the FleetMentor® CSA webcast

Which carriers are affected by CSA?

Any interstate carrier that has a US DOT number is covered by the CSA program, no matter what “type” of carrier they are (for-hire, private, flatbed, van, utility, construction, etc.), what size carrier they are, or what type of vehicles they operate (CDL required versus non-CDL required vehicles)

Will there be new regulations or recordkeeping requirements that carriers must comply with in CSA?

No. CSA does not include any new regulations carriers will need to comply with. CSA is a system for tracking, measuring, evaluating, and intervening with carriers, it is not a new regulation that carriers must comply with. The only regulatory component in CSA has to do with the FMCSA using the Safety Evaluation the CSA Safety Measurement System generates as a carrier’s official rating and changing the auditing procedures used by the FMCSA investigators.

What data will CSA use to track, measure, and evaluate carriers?

The CSA systems will uses:

  • Crash reports provided by the states for DOT recordable crashes.
  • Roadside inspection reports provided by the states, and all violations listed on the reports.
  • Violations discovered during interventions conducted by state or federal investigators.

Will all violations listed on a roadside inspection report count, even minor violations?

All violations of the safety regulations noted on a roadside inspection report will be used in the CSA Safety Measurement System. However, due to the severity weighting system serious violations will have a greater impact on a carrier's score than minor violations.

Will drivers and carriers "start from scratch" when the CSA system begins measuring and evaluating carriers?

No. The CSA measurement system will use the existing data (roadside inspection and crash information) from the previous 24 months (36 months for drivers) when it becomes the official measurement system.

When hiring a driver, does the driver's CSA data get added to the new company's CSA data?

No. The only violations that get placed into a carrier's data are violations involving vehicles and drivers operating under the carrier's DOT number.

Does the driver component of CSA only apply to drivers with a CDL license?

No. Any driver operating a commercial vehicle is subject to the CSA program. A "commercial vehicle" according to the FMCSA is a vehicle used in commerce with a gross weight or a gross weight rating of more than 10,000, either single or in combination, a passenger vehicle that seats more than 8, and any vehicle transporting a placarable amount of a hazardous material (see §390.5 for a complete definition).

Will firing a driver that has a lot of violations in their personal data improve a carrier's CSA data and scores?

No. If the driver committed the violations while operating under a carrier's DOT number, those violations stay with that carrier for 24 months, even if the driver leaves.

Where will violations involving owner operators operating under our DOT number show up in the CSA system?

Any violation involving a vehicle or driver operating under a carrier's DOT number will be assigned to the carrier, including violations involving owner operators operating under a carrier's DOT number. If the violation is one that the driver is responsible for or could have prevented, the violation will also be assigned to the driver (in this case, the owner operator).

Can a driver lose his/her CDL or regular driver's license if the CSA system "flags" the driver as being a poor driver?

No. There are no regulatory provisions that would allow the FMCSA to "pull" a driver's CDL or regular license at this time (this would require rulemaking). The FMCSA can initiate interventions against the drivers, up to and including fining the driver, but they cannot suspend a driver's CDL or regular driver's license at this time.

How are the "peer groups" used in the Safety Measurement System determined, by size of carrier or type of carrier?

The peer groups are determined by the number of power units a carrier has reported on recent MCS-150s in the Unsafe, Controlled Substance, and Crash BASICs, and the number of relevant inspections in the other BASICs (relevant inspections refers to driver inspections for the driver-related BASICs and vehicle inspections for the vehicle-related BASICs).

Will the data in CSA be visible to everyone like SafeStat data is now?

The FMCSA has stated that they will be using the same protocols for CSA that they have in place for SafeStat when it comes to the public viewing carrier data in CSA (the Crash BASIC Score and driver indentifying data will not be visible to

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